Lord of the Ocean – Aneeta Sundararaj

“China is going to take over our world,” my friend declared. Unlikely to happen! I didn’t say the words aloud, though, for this man’s convictions were delivered with such ferocity that any meaningful debate was impossible. Rumour had it that he believed that every country was doomed to inevitable failure unless it bowed down to…

ONE POEM – Kira Scott

these are the tears that we cannot shed
as we comment on the beauty of the glen and
how wonderful it must have been to live in such a place.

TWO POEMS – Tim Kiely

the cake is made of Walthamstow
a dense and glutinous Walthamstow
we are going to make Walthamstow
a Titanic success for Walthamstow

Back Home in Old Kentucky – Bailey Vandiver

Kentucky governor Happy Chandler once said Kentuckians are always either coming home or thinking about coming home. On the day that tornadoes devastated my home state, I was longing to be home. It was December 11, 2021, and I woke up in a New York City hotel room to the news that tornadoes had ripped…

Scheherazade — Lydia Waites

He studies me for a second before facing the road again, his jaw set. My breath is caught in my throat. I clear it, arranging my thoughts. It was just an outburst, a loss of patience: I am safe. 

ONE POEM – Hideko Sueoka

Bright rays reflect, shape, shake her portrait on the water skin
      and it’s broken, burnt, soon gone.

ONE POEM — Matthew Moniz 

But Jesus never saved the birds. A bird
has never sinned. They have no need for grace,
salvation, guilt, contrition, holy words,

ONE POEM — Toby Jackson

But Krakow, why am I in Krakow looking for size eight shoes
following a strolling man with a hand-shaped dent in his hat?

When Will My Sense of Linear Time Come Back From the War? – Nat Guest

Time’s gone weird, hasn’t it? Hasn’t time gone weird? I’m really struggling with it at the moment. I don’t know what day it is. I’m not sure whether it’s day. It’s 2023 next year. It’s still March 2020. It’s the dead zone between Christmas and New Year. It’s been Wednesday for months. I’ll be dead…

ONE POEM — Renwick Berchild

I am a maze of swinging doors.
Catch me, I’ll fall. Feel my ink.
Lost in the torn pelt of my wounds,
I’ve dabbled in sores and spirits.

The Generation of Dogged Persistence – Marie McMullin

‘When All Looks Bleak, Keep Going, for What Else Is There?’ – The Generation of Dogged Persistence The setting: my kitchen in the early evening, lights filtering through the window and the door open onto the hallway. The atmosphere: cheerful but low-key, with a smidgen of excitement at the prospect of letting (reasonably) loose. The…

ONE POEM – William Doreski

Dried for sale, sea stars remind you
that we haven’t seen the Atlantic 
breathing heavily along a beach
for a couple of plague-struck years.

Navigating Goodbye – Tyler Plofker

The party is winding down and it’s time to make your exit. You stand in the living room mentally preparing for the torrent of goodbyes you’re now socially obligated to initiate. It is Christmas Eve.

Reading Heat-Moon in Nicaragua – William Fleeson

For a dusty Central American beach town, San Juan del Sur has a ton of history. The former fishing village once offered passage to Forty-Niners on their way from the US east coast to California. Cornelius Vanderbilt grew his fortune by running a waterborne transit line for that gold rush: faster than overland travel, the…

FLASH FICTION – Edvige Guinta

I told no one. Not my parents, not my older sister, not my little brother. I locked myself in the bathroom while my mother stirred tomato sauce and tasted spaghetti (we did not like al dente).

The Trials and Tribulations of Route 17 – Zahira P. Latif

I stood at the bus stop, waiting for the number 17 into Birmingham city centre. I had been waiting for over 20 minutes, and the queue at the stop had now built up to well over 20 people. I can drive, but car ownership had lost its appeal. I was tired of having to cart…

My One of The Kind Relationship to Chinese Food – Chris Liberato

Before I became a more adventurous eater in my late twenties, my appreciation for traditional Asian food consisted of the bowls of phở that my friends would seek out when we visited Boston. I was fascinated in particular with how my chef friend Charlie approached his noodles: requesting his steak served raw on a side…

ONE POEM – Susan Calvillo

goat cheese cannoli with garden gem tomatoes & a floral salad
a hot croquette with apple compote, pumpernickel, & sherbet
blackberry compote on a throne of chocolate mousse
a slice of seasonal pumpkin spice cake
all go to waste

Mick Jagger Used to Call Me Mum – Jacqueline Ellis

When I was little, the dark staircase between the front and back rooms of my grandparents’ two-up, two-down terrace house had been a mountain. Each step a jagged, granite foothold; the shadowed landing a dark cloud hiding a kingdom of giants, or a castle encased in twisted branches. Their bedroom glowed yellow; the edges of…

Beowulf: You Know More Than You Think! – Danny Bate

As a living soul of the twenty-first century, if you take a glance at the opening lines of Beowulf, the Old English poem, the chances are that you won’t be able to understand it. If anything, you may perhaps recognise its famous first word, hƿæt. This is absolutely fine, I should add; Old English is an old…

ART – Manon Parry 

‘a visual stream of consciousness where your imaginary and erratic thoughts come to life.’

ONE POEM — Louise McStravick

We look up to her, I’ll teach you how
it works she says to the ram’s head, the birds eye
her mouth devouring snake heads

Acknowledging the River – Natalie Timmerman

“Everyone has anxiety.” “Be thankful for what you do have.” “Others have it worse.” When I sunk chin-deep into my anxiety, when I waded through life with a churning stomach, pale skin, and clenched jaw, these phrases thickened the current; they made the wading harder. Sure, they varied in words, tones, and intentions, but they…

Oysters – Lynne Golodner

The oysters arrived on a paper plate, craggy half-shells pooling ocean brine. A server slung a basket of napkins, vinegar and cocktail sauce on the table. Dan lifted a shell and slurped. I forked one and bit into the softness, closing my eyes. I breathed in through my nose to taste more fully. These were…

The Unbearable Brightness of Being – Laura Swan

I’ve taken photography up again for the sake of my fictional avatar. She’s about to start university in Dublin and, unbeknownst to her, she will buy a camera in her second term in an attempt to digest, dissect, and process the world around her – a world that has become intensely disorientating, a world she…

ONE POEM – Claire Sosienski Smith

paring knife, won’t use it to make 
the pierogi. The potato goes 
soft in the microwave, 
the onion falls apart 
and fries itself.